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Pre-diabetes: preventing diabetes with a healthy diet

19th June 2015

Many clients are referred to our Health Trainers service because they have been diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”, or “borderline diabetic”. But what does this mean?

“Pre-diabetes” is when someone’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are above the normal range, but not high enough for them to be diagnosed as having diabetes. If someone’s blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal then they may be at risk of Type 2 diabetes if they don’t take preventative steps.

This is where our Health Trainers come in.

GlennGlenn Rogers (pictured) says, “We get many people referred to us because their doctor has diagnosed them as ‘pre-diabetic’ or ‘at risk of diabetes’. So we work around their diet to find out how they could be eating more healthily, and help them to start exercising more. With care it’s possible to bring their sugar levels right down so they’re no longer at risk.”

Zahra’s story

Zahra* was referred to Glenn just last month, and on her first visit she gave the following statement on our Impact Assessment App:

My doctor has told me that I am pre diabetic and that my blood sugar levels are too high. I dont really understand what diabetes is or what I am doing wrong. I really need some information around my diet

In the following session, which was last week, she said:

I have filled in a food diary which we have looked at together. I have come to realise that I eat far too much food on the evening.

Glenn says, “Zahra isn’t overweight, but her blood sugar levels are high, so we’ve looked at her diet together and we’ve already found some ways in which it can improve. The main thing is that Zahra eats a small breakfast and lunch, but then a very large evening meal. The food itself isn’t bad, but her portion sizes in the evening are very large and include a lot of carbohydrates.

“So I’ve advised her to try and even things out a bit – to eat three evenly sized meals a day rather than two small and one large. I’ve also advised her to replace some of the carbs; rather than a large portion of rice and bread, she could have a few more vegetables instead. Hopefully, these changes will help start to lower her blood sugar levels and prevent her from becoming diabetic.”

David’s story

David* was referred to a Health Trainer last year and worked with Keiran McKenzie. At his first visit, David’s statement on our Impact Assessment App said:

I was referred by my doctor who recently checked my blood result and said I ought to come and see you.

Six months later, David recorded a short statement, which you can hear below. Not only has he lost weight, but his blood sugar and cholesterol levels have decreased, meaning his risk of developing diabetes is much lower.

The NHS reports that 35.3% of adults in the UK now have prediabetes, and that around 5-10% of people with prediabetes will go on to progress to “full-blown” type 2 diabetes in any given years. So the work that Health Trainers do with “pre-diabetic” people is hugely important.

*names have been changed

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